Be He Ne’er So Vile, This Spirit Shall Gentle His Condition

But “history” wins out…

…The crate was painstakingly opened to reveal 11 bottles of Mackinlay’s Scotch whisky, wrapped in paper and straw to protect them from the rigors of a rough trip to Antarctica for Shackleton’s 1907 Nimrod expedition.

Though the crate was frozen solid when it was retrieved earlier this year, the whisky inside could be heard sloshing around in the bottles.

Antarctica’s minus 22 Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius) temperature was not enough to freeze the liquor, dating from 1896 or 1897 and described as being in remarkably good condition.

This Scotch is unlikely ever to be tasted, but master blenders will examine samples of it to see if they can replicate the brew. The original recipe for the Scotch no longer exists.

Once samples have been extracted and sent to Scottish distiller Whyte and Mackay, which took over Mackinlay’s distillery many years ago, the 11 bottles will be returned to their home—

under the floorboards of Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds on Ross Island, near Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound.

…and gentlemen abed in England and America will think themselves accursed.

Why can I hear Michael Palin in my head going, “Ooooh, history, is it? Oooo, very nice, indeed!”

8 Responses to “Be He Ne’er So Vile, This Spirit Shall Gentle His Condition”

  1. Skyler says:

    That’s about the stupidest thing ever to do with them.

    History is all well and good, but what is the point of putting them back under the hut when no one is there?

    The only fitting thing to do is to take some samples and drink the rest.

  2. JeffS says:

    Good idea, Skyler. Put ’em up for auction, and give the proceeds to some charity.

  3. Skyler says:

    I’m most interested in how they used hay to pack the bottles.

  4. tree hugging sister says:

    And thank you, Skyler ! EXACTLY. “To see if they can replicate the brew”. Well, who will know if they were successful if NO ONE TASTED the stuff to begin with? It’s ALL a FRAUD.

    Keep a couple bottles, auction them off, put the rest back ~ everybody’s happy! WHO came up with this stupid, “where they belong”. If Shackleton hadn’t gotten stuck, they would’ve all been drunk anyway, leaving empty bottles, DUH.

    And hay, of course.

  5. Dave E. says:

    Hmmm, how’d they lose the recipe?

    You know, those Kentucky/Tennessee bourbon boys may have been hillbillies, but at least they knew how to pass a recipe on to the next generation.

  6. mojo says:

    Penguin party!

  7. BillN says:

    mojo have you ever seen a druken penguin? NOT a pretty sight my freind.

  8. mojo says:

    Who got the job of taking it back and re-burying it? And – can they be talked to?

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